Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Operation Christimas Child - International Compassion


I seriously adore this picture. It makes me want to laugh and cry at the same time. Laugh with the joy he feels. And weep because he has so little that this box of little toys and a tube of toothpaste has so much meaning to him. 

This is from Samaritan's Purse. In those boxes in the photo are small gifts, toiletries and perhaps some school supplies. And a booklet containing an eternal gift of the Gospel. Amongst other aid, Samaritan's Purse deliver gifts to kids who would have very little during the Christmas period. In total they have delivered 100 million shoeboxes to children around the world! But there are billions more to reach.

Want to help?  

It doesn't cost a lot. Shopping frugally (sales, clearance sections, dollar stores, with coupons), you can fill a shoebox and pay for the shipping for around $30 or less. That's about half the cost of an X-Box game that some people have as a side gift for their kids at Christmas. Just sayin'.

In fact, get the kids involved. Give them $20 to fill a box with items on the list below. Then as a family, pray for the child that will receive it.

You can also make things to go in the box!  I have been collecting craft ideas on Pinterest. This is an awesome way to get kids involved, or hold a small craft party.


How does it work?

Basically select a boy or girl, then pick an age group and you fill up a shoebox with small age appropriate gifts.

I keep boxes under my bed all year and add to them as I see things on sale and also when I stop by shops like Dollar Tree, the One Stop at Target and 5 Below.  I also hawk the clearance bins at Rite Aid and other places.




Necessities:

  • soap/ toothbrushes/ toothpaste/ washcloths, lip balm
  • school supplies, stickers, picture books for little kids, coloring books & crayons 
  • kleenex, wet wipes, first aid kit, flashlight
  • comb/ brush
  • socks and underwear, hat scarf and gloves, t-shirts, PJs (size up if unsure)
  • sunglasses, ball caps, scarfs

    Fun things to include
  • small toys, playing cards, Happy Meal toys, toy cars
  • yo-yos, penny whistles, harmonicas, slinky, travel games
  • hair things, toy beads, friendship bracelet
  • flashlight & batteries, small sewing kit, solar calculator
  • stuffed animals and Beanie Babies, dolls
  • Jumping ropes, Jacks, chalk 
  • Chewing gum, Mentos
There are a few things that you should not put in there and they will be removed at the collection center:

NO War related items (toy guns, knives, soldiers, etc.) Your gift may end up in an orphanage of a war-torn country. Those kids do not need reminders of war and violence!
NO Liquids (shampoo, glue, nail polish, etc.)
NO Medicines (vitamins, drops, etc.)
NO Glass or breakable items (mirrors, china dolls, etc.)
NO Chocolate or perishable food items
No Used or worn items - I know we all like to donate our kids' old toys, but these kids won't be getting anything else. New or unused is best.

Anything with a flag: In some countries it may be illegal to have anything with a foreign/ US Flag. Or in a country with rebel militia, this could cause problems for the child.

What to do with your box?

Each box requires a $7 donation inside to go towards delivery. 
You can mail them (see link) or find a local church or other collection point.  To find out more, check out the Operation Christmas Child website.

If you can't afford to fill a box, you might find a local center who need volunteers for one of their packing parties, or who would be very happy to accept any small items that you can provide. Handmade items are fine, as are cards and notes.


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